[Albert Pike] Morals and Dogma - M ORALS and DOGMA by...

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Unformatted text preview: M ORALS and DOGMA by ALBERT PIKE Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry , prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871. SHORT BIOGRAPHY Albert Pike, born December 29, 1809, was the oldest of six children born to Benjamin and Sarah Andrews Pike. Pike was raised in a Christian home and attended an Episcopal church. Pike passed the entrance examination at Harvard College when he was 15 years old, but could not attend because he had no funds. After traveling as far west as Santa Fe, Pike settled in Arkansas, where he worked as editor of a newspaper before being admitted to the bar. In Arkansas, he met Mary Ann Hamilton, and married her on November 28, 1834. To this union were born 11 children. He was 41 years old when he applied for admission in the Western Star Lodge No. 2 in Little Rock, Ark., in 1850. Active in the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, Pike took the 10 degrees of the York Rite from 1850 to 1853. He received the 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite in March 1853 from Albert Gallatin Mackey in Charleston, S.C. The Scottish Rite had been introduced in the United States in 1783. Charleston was the location of the first Supreme Council, which governed the Scottish Rite in the United States, until a Northern Supreme Council was established in New York City in 1813. The boundary between the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions, still recognized today, was firmly established in 1828. Mackey invited Pike to join the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction in 1858 in Charleston, and he became the Grand Commander of the Supreme Council the following year. Pike held that office until his death, while supporting himself in various occupations such as editor of the Memphis Daily Appeal from February 1867 to September 1868, as well as his law practice. Pike later opened a law office in Washington, D.C., and argued a number of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. However, P ike was impoverished by the Civil War and remained so much of his life, often borrowing money for basic living expenses from the Supreme Council before the council voted him an annuity in 1879 of $1,200 a year for the remainder of his life. He died on April 2, 1892, in Washington, D.C. Realizing that a revision of the ritual was necessary if Scottish Rite Freemasonry were to survive, Mackey encouraged Pike to revise the ritual to produce a standard ritual for use in all states in the Southern Jurisdiction. Revision began in 1855, and after some changes, the Supreme Council endorsed Pike's revision in 1861. Minor changes were made in two degrees in 1873 after the York Rite bodies in Missouri objected that the 29th and 30th degrees revealed secrets of the York Rite. Pike is best known for his major work, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, published in 1871. Morals and Dogma should not be confused with Pike's revision of the Scottish Rite ritual. They are separate works. Walter Lee Brown writes that Pike "intended it [Morals and Dogma] to be a supplement to that great 'connected system of moral, religious and philosophical instruction' that he had developed in his revision of the Scottish ritual." Morals and Dogma was traditionally given to the candidate upon his receipt of the 14th degree of the Scottish Rite. This practice was stopped in 1974. Morals and Dogma has not been given to candidates since 1974. A Bridge to Light, by Rex R. Hutchens, is provided to candidates today. Hutchens laments that Morals and Dogma is read by so few Masons. A Bridge to Light was written to be "a bridge between the ceremonies of the degrees and their lectures in Morals and Dogma." TITLES OF DEGREES 1 º - Apprentice 2 º - Fellow-craft 3 º - Master 4 º - Secret Master 5 º - Perfect Master 6 º - Intimate Secretary 7 º - Provost and Judge 8 º - Intendant of the Building 9 º - Elu of the Nine 1 0º - Elu of the Fifteen 1 1º - Elu of the Twelve 1 2º - Master Architect 1 3º - Royal Arch of Solomon 1 4º - Perfect Elu 1 5º - Knight of the East 1 6º - Prince of Jerusalem 1 7º - Knight of the East and West 1 8º - Knight Rose Croix 1 9º - Pontiff 2 0º - Master of the Symbolic Lodge 2 1º - Noachite or Prussian Knight 2 2º - Knight of the Royal Axe or Prince of Libanus 2 3º - Chief of the Tabernacle 2 4º - Prince of the Tabernacle 2 5º - Knight of the Brazen Serpent 2 6º - Prince of Mercy 2 7º - Knight Commander of the Temple 2 8º - Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept 2 9º - Scottish Knight of St. Andrew 3 0º - Knight Kadosh 3 1º - Inspector Inquistor 3 2º - Master of the Royal Secret M ORALS and DOGMA by ALBERT PIKE Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry , prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871. 1º - Apprentice THE TWELVE-INCH RULE AND THE COMMON GAVEL. FORCE, unregulated or ill-regulated, is not only wasted in the void, like that of gunpowder burned in the open air, and steam unconfined by science; but, striking in the dark, and its blows meeting only the air, they recoil and bruise itself. It is destruction and ruin. It is the volcano, the earthquake, the cyclone;-not growth and progress. It is Polyphemus blinded, striking at random, and falling headlong among the sharp rocks by the impetus of his own blows. The blind Force of the people is a Force that must be economized, and also managed, as the blind Force of steam, lifting the ponderous iron arms and turning the large wheels, is made to bore and rifle the cannon and to weave the most delicate lace. It must be regulated by Intellect. Intellect is to the people and the people's Force, what the slender needle of the compass is to the ship--its soul, always counselling the huge mass of wood and iron, and always pointing to the north. To attack the citadels built up on all sides against the human race by superstitions, despotisms, and prejudices, the Force must have a brain and a law. Then its deeds of daring produce permanent results, and there is real progress. Then there are sublime conquests. Thought is a force, and philosophy should be an energy, finding its aim and its effects in the amelioration of mankind. T he two great motors are Truth and Love. W hen all these Forces are combined, a nd guided by the Intellect, and regulated by the RULE of Right, and Justice, and of combined and systematic movement and effort, the great revolution prepared for by the ages will begin to march. The P OWER o f the Deity Himself is in equilibrium with His W ISDOM . Hence the only results a re HARMONY. It is because Force is ill regulated, that revolutions prove failures. Therefore it is that so often insurrections, coming from those high mountains that domineer over the moral horizon, Justice, Wisdom, Reason, Right, built of the purest snow of the ideal after a long fall from rock to rock, after having reflected the sky in their transparency, and been swollen by a hundred affluents, in the majestic path of triumph, suddenly lose themselves in quagmires, like a California river in the sands. The onward march of the human race requires that the heights around it should blaze with noble and enduring lessons of courage. Deeds of daring dazzle history, and form one class of the guiding lights of man. They are the stars and coruscations from that great sea of electricity, the Force inherent in the people. To strive, to brave all risks, to perish, to persevere, to be true to one's self, to grapple body to body with destiny, to surprise defeat by the little terror it inspires, now to confront unrighteous power, now to defy intoxicated triumph--these are the examples that the nations need and the light that electrifies them. There are immense Forces in the great caverns of evil beneath society; in the hideous degradation, squalor, wretchedness and destitution, vices and crimes that reek and simmer in the darkness in that populace below the people, of great cities. There disinterestedness vanishes, every one howls, searches, gropes, and gnaws for himself. Ideas are ignored, and of progress there is no thought. This populace has two mothers, both of them stepmothers--Ignorance and Misery. Want is their only guide--for the appetite alone they crave satisfaction. Yet even these may be employed. The lowly sand we trample upon, cast into the furnace, melted, purified by fire, may become resplendent crystal. They have the brute force of the HAMMER, but their blows help on the great cause, when struck within the lines traced by the RULE held by wisdom and discretion. Yet it is this very Force of the people, this Titanic power of the giants, that builds the fortifications of tyrants, and is embodied in their armies. Hence the possibility of such tyrannies as those of which it has been said, that "Rome smells worse under Vitellius than under Sulla. Under Claudius a nd under Domitian there is a deformity of baseness corresponding to the ugliness-of the tyranny. The foulness of the slaves is a direct result of the atrocious baseness of the despot. A miasma exhales from these crouching consciences that reflect the master; the public authorities are unclean, hearts are collapsed, consciences shrunken, souls puny. This is so under Caracalla, it is so under Commodus, it is so under Heliogabalus, while fro m the Roman senate, under Caesar, there comes only the rank odour peculiar to the eagle's eyrie." It is the force of the people that sustains all these despotisms, the basest as well as the best. That force acts through armies; and these oftener enslave than liberate. Despotism there applies the RULE. Force is the MACE of steel at the saddle-bow of the knight or of the bishop in armour. Passive obedience by force supports thrones and oligarchies, Spanish kings, and Venetian senates. Might, in an army wielded by tyranny, is the enormous sum total of utter weakness; and so Humanity wages war against Humanity, in despite of Humanity. So a people willingly submits to despotism, and its workmen submit to be despised, and its soldiers to be whipped; therefore it is that battles lost by a nation are often progress attained. Less glory is more liberty. When the drum is silent, reason sometimes speaks. Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate--that is, enyoke the people. Then they plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannonshot; while the monks mingle with the troopers, and the Church militant and jubilant, Catholic or Puritan, sings Te Deums for victories over rebellion. The military power, not subordinate to the civil power, again the HAMMER or MACE of FORCE, independent of the RULE, is an armed tyranny, born full-grown, as Athene sprung from the brain of Zeus. It spawns a dynasty, and begins with Caesar to rot into Vitellius and C o mmodus. At the present day it inclines to begin where formerly dynasties ended. Constantly the people put forth immense strength, only to end in immense weakness. The force of the people is exhausted in indefinitely prolonging things long since dead; in governing mankind by embalming old dead tyrannies of Faith; restoring dilapidated dogmas; regilding faded, wormeaten shrines; whitening and rouging ancient and barren superstitions; saving society by multiplying parasites; perpetuating superannuated institutions; enforcing the worship of symbols as the actual means of salvation; and tying the dead corpse of the Past, mouth to mouth, with the living Present. Therefore it is that it is one of the fatalities of Humanity to be condemned to eternal struggles with phantoms, with superstitions, bigotries, hypocrisies, prejudices, the formulas of error, and the pleas of tyranny. Despotisms, seen in the past, become respectable, as the mountain, bristling with volcanic rock, rugged and horrid, seen through the haze of distance is blue and smooth and beautiful. The sight of a single dungeon of tyranny is worth more, to dispel illusions, and create a holy hatred of despotism, and to direct FORCE aright, than the most eloquent volumes. The French should have preserved the Bastile as a perpetual lesson; Italy should not destroy the dungeons of the Inquisition. The Force of the people maintained the Power that built its gloomy cells, and placed the living in their granite sepulchres. The FORCE of the people cannot, by its unrestrained and fitful action, maintain and continue in action and existence a free Government once created. That Force must be limited, restrained, conveyed by distribution into different channels, and by roundabout courses, to outlets, whence it is to issue as the law, action, and decision of the State; as the wise old Egyptian kings conveyed in different canals, by sub-division, the swelling waters of the Nile, and compelled them to fertilize and not devastate the land. There must be the jus et norma, the law and Rule, or Gauge, of constitution and law, within which the public force must act. Make a breach in either, and the great steam-hammer, with its swift and ponderous blows, crushes all the machinery to atoms, and, at last, wrenching itself away, lies inert and dead amid the ruin it has wrought. T he FORCE of the people, or the popular will, in action and exerted, symbolized by the GAVEL, regulated and guided by and acting within the limits of LAW and ORDER, symbolized by the TWENTY-FOUR-INCH RULE, has for its fruit LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY,--liberty regulated by law; equality of rights in the eye of the law; brotherhood with its duties and obligations as well as its benefits. You will hear shortly of the Rough ASHLAR and the Perfect ASHLAR, as part of the jewels of the Lodge. The rough Ashlar is said to be "a stone, as taken from the quarry, in its rude and natural state." The perfect Ashlar is said to be "a stone made ready by the hands of the workmen, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow-Craft." We shall not repeat the explanations of these symbols given by the York Rite. You may read them in its printed monitors. They are declared to allude to the selfimprovement of the individual craftsman,--a continuation of the same superficial interpretation. The rough Ashlar is the PEOPLE, as a mass, rude and unorganized. The perfect Ashlar, or cubical stone, symbol of perfection, is the STATE, the rulers deriving their powers from the consent of the governed; the constitution and laws speaking the will of the people; the government harmonious, symmetrical, efficient, --its powers properly distributed and duly adjusted in equilibrium. If we delineate a cube on a plane surface thus: we have visible three faces, and nine external lines, drawn between seven points. The complete cube has three more faces, making six; three more l ines, making twelve; and one more point, making eight. As the number 12 includes the sacred numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 3 times 3, or 9, and is produced by adding the sacred number 3 to 9; while its own two figures, 1, 2, the unit or monad, and duad, added together, make the same sacred number 3; it was called the perfect number; and the cube became the symbol of perfection. Produced by FORCE, acting by RULE; hammered in accordance with lines measured by the Gauge, out of the rough Ashlar, it is an appropriate symbol of the Force of the people, expressed as the constitution and law of the State; and of the State itself the three visible faces represent the three departments,--the Executive, which executes the laws; the Legislative, which makes the laws; the Judiciary, which interprets the laws, applies and enforces them, between man and man, between the State and the citizens. The three invisible faces, are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, the threefold soul of the State--its vitality, spirit, and intellect. Though Masonry neither usurps the place of, nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies. It is the aspiration of the soul toward the Absolute and Infinite Intelligence, which is the One Supreme Deity, most feebly and misunderstandingly characterized as an "ARCHITECT." Certain faculties of man are directed toward the Unknown--thought, meditation, prayer. The unknown is an ocean, of which conscience is the compass. Thought, meditation, prayer, are the great mysterious pointings of the needle. It is a spiritual magnetism that thus connects the human soul with the Deity. These majestic irradiations of the soul pierce through the shadow toward the light. It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is not possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, b ecause we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will. So, likewise, we pray. Will is a force. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects? Man is not to be comprehended as a startingpoint, or progress as a goal, without those two great forces, Faith and Love. Prayer is sublime. Orisons that beg and clamour are pitiful. To deny the efficacy of prayer, is to deny that of Faith, Love, and Effort. Yet the effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air. Every Lodge is a Temple, and as a whole, and in its details symbolic. The Universe itself supplied man with the model for the first temples reared to the Divinity. The arrangement of the Temple of Solomon, the symbolic ornaments which formed its chief decorations, and the dress of the HighPriest, all had reference to the order of the Universe, as then understood. The Temple contained many emblems of the seasons--the sun, the moon, the planets, the constellations Ursa Major and Minor, the zodiac, the elements, and the other parts of the world. It is the Master of this Lodge, of the Universe, Hermes, of whom Khurum is the representative, that is one of the lights of the Lodge. For further instruction as to the symbolism of the heavenly bodies, and of the sacred numbers, and of the temple and its details, you must wait patiently until you advance in Masonry, in the mean time exercising your intellect in studying them for yourself. To study and seek to interpret correctly the symbols of the Universe, is the work of the sage and philosopher. It is to decipher the writing of God, and penetrate into His thoughts. This is what is asked and answered in our catechism, in regard to the Lodge. ****** A "Lodge" is defined to be "an assemblage of Freemasons, duly congregated, having the sacred writings, square, and compass, and a charter, or warrant of constitution, authorizing them to work." The room or place in which they meet, representing some part of King Solomon's Temple, is also called the Lodge; and it is that we are now considering. It is said to be supported by three great columns, WISDOM, FORCE or STRENGTH, and BEAUTY, represented by the Master, the Senior Warden, and the Junior Warden; and these are said to be the columns that support the Lodge, "because Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, are the perfections of everything, and nothing can endure without them." "Because," the York Rite says, "it is necessary that there should be Wisdom to conceive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn, all great and important undertakings." "Know ye not,"...
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  • Winter '99
  • Averróis
  • Thou shalt, Scottish Rite, Accepted Scottish Rite, York Rite

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